Welcome to the Cheeky Weekly blog!

Welcome to the Cheeky Weekly blog!
Cheeky Weekly ™ REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED was a British children's comic with cover dates spanning 22 October 1977 to 02 February 1980.

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Basic Stats
Cheeky Weekly Index - Cheeky Annuals and Specials Index
Cheeky Weekly Artist Index
Features by Number of Appearances
Cheeky Weekly Timeline
Major Characters from the Cheeky pages
Features Ordered by Date of Commencement

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Monday 26 May 2014

The features – Speed Squad

Post updated 14 June 2016 - artwork previously assigned as being by Mike Lacey now attributed to Jimmy Hansen.

There was no indication at the conclusion of the 76th Skateboard Squad episode, in Cheeky Weekly dated 12 May 1979, that it was to be the final outing for the trio under this title. Squad members Skipper, Skatie and Wipe-Out were absent from the following issue (Cheeky's attempts to discover what was transpiring were repelled), but they reappeared in the 26 May 1979 comic, the first of what were to be 32 appearances in their new guise of Speed Squad.

As the opening panel of the initial episode under the new title made clear, the terrific trio's mode of travel was no longer limited to the skateboard, although our heroes hadn't entirely abandoned their original conveyance of choice, as they used skateboards (on occasions motorised) regularly in the ensuing adventures. Despite these changes, the Squad continued to perform the righting-of-wrongs and general do-goodery that was evident in their earlier incarnation.

The first Speed Squad episode,
Cheeky Weekly 26 May 1979
Art: Jimmy Hansen

Cheeky's introduction to the first Speed Squad strip can be seen here.

The most exotic equipment at Speed Squad's disposal were the 'copter packs that featured in several of their escapades, although where they obtained such advanced (not to mention dangerous – ooh, I mentioned it) technology was never explained. It's unlikely that Skipper built them himself, as the flying machine he attempted to construct in the 26 January 1980 comic failed to leave the ground.
Whereas Skateboard Squad featured several guest appearances by various Cheeky's Week characters, only two of Cheeky's pals crossed over into Speed Squad. Constable Chuckle was on hand to take into custody the miscreants who had been apprehended by the Squad in the 26 May, 16 June, 18 August and 24 November 1979 issues, and jovial journalist Rex Press (who had made his debut in Cheeky Weekly dated 29 September 1979) featured prominently in the 15 December 1979 adventure, although curiously he wasn't named.

Speed Squad art:Jimmy Hansen
(Cheeky Chuckles filler art by Mike Lacey)

Readers had known Skipper and Skatie were brother and sister since the 03 June 1978 Skateboard Squad episode, and their dad was first seen in the Skateboard Squad 02 September 1978 adventure...

Skateboard Squad 02 September 1978
Jimmy Hansen

Presumably the woman who appeared in the 04 November 1978 Skateboard Squad was the team's mum (well, of the team's human members, anyway)...

Skateboard Squad 04 November 1978
Jimmy Hansen

Dad was seen again, seemingly having abandoned his wig and glasses, along with a rather different Mum, in Speed Squad dated 25 August 1979.

Art:Jimmy Hansen

A couple of artists deputised for Jimmy Hansen during Speed Squad's run - Paul Ailey did the honours in the 03 November 1979 issue, drawing a Mum modelled on Jimmy's original version...

Art: Paul Ailey

 ... and Colin Whittock drew the Squad's 10 November and 01 December 1979 adventures (the latter featuring a mum based on Jimmy Hansen's revised design).

 Colin Whittock

The introductory Speed Squad episode covered a page-and-a-half, and barring the Rex Press adventure above which was just over a half-page, all the rest were single-pagers.

Skipper, Skatie and Wipe-Out continued their occasional introductory appearances in the final panel of the Cheeky's Week page preceding their story, although their newly changeable mode of transport proved somewhat problematic for the artists drawing the intro panel - Frank McDiarmid drew the Squad's lower halves obscured by the bottom of the panel in the 23 June 1979 issue...

...a good try, but in the ensuing tale the Squad were travelling by go-cart.

The intrepid trio's next visit to Cheeky's Week occurred in the comic dated 22 December 1979, one of the issues that was constructed from elements prepared for the aborted Christmas 1978 comics. Since the Thursday page in question had been drawn months before the team evolved into Speed Squad, the terrific trio were depicted on their skateboards in the intro panel (although the wording of Cheeky's speech balloon was altered to refer to them by their new name). However, Speed Squad in that issue, in which our brisk buddies were variously travelling by bike, go-cart and skateboard, appeared after the Friday element of Cheeky's Week so given the 24 hour gap between appearances, the differing methods of travel weren't incongruous.

The final Cheeky's Week crossover for Speed Squad came a week later when, in another comic compiled from elements created over a year earlier, the team were seen again on their skateboards. Since a Speed Squad strip was absent from this issue no continuity error resulted.

Although Speed Squad continued until Cheeky Weekly was wound up, the intrepid trio weren't among the strips from the toothy funster's comic that made the transition into Whoopee! However, Speed Squad did make some further appearances;

In Cheeky Summer Special 1979, the publication of which coincided very closely with the debut of the team under their new name (the Special was first advertised in Cheeky Weekly dated 23 June that year), the Speed Squad adventure saw them on skateboards and I suspect the strip was actually produced as a Skateboard Squad story but the title was changed near to publication date to tie in with their relaunch in the weekly comic.

There were 2 Speed Squad strips in Cheeky Annual 1980 (on sale in autumn 1979), and a colour outing for the team in Cheeky Holiday Special 1980. 2 Speed Squad stories, plus a Speed Squad Grand Prix Game in the 1981 Cheeky Annual were followed by a 2-page adventure in Cheeky Summer Special 1981. Speed Squad had a single adventure in Cheeky Annual 1982, but they failed to appear in Cheeky Summer Special 1982 (the final Cheeky Special). The indefatigable trio were back in Cheeky Annual 1983 and their final annual outing was in Cheeky Annual 1984 and thus they were absent from the toothy funster's concluding yearly offering in 1985.
Speed Squad in the Cheeky Weekly Index

Feature First Appearance Final Appearance Total Issues Total Issues Missed In Run Page History
Speed Squad26-May-7902-Feb-8032510,11,22,23,24,28

Issues Missed In Run

Feature Artist Number of Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Speed Squad Jimmy Hansen2926-May-197902-Feb-1980
Speed Squad Paul Ailey103-Nov-197903-Nov-1979
Speed Squad Colin Whittock210-Nov-197901-Dec-1979

Friday 16 May 2014

Cheeky in the Movies

'Cheeky' Gray has posted the It's Cheeky strip from Whoopee that introduced the Cheeky's Movie Masterpieces series. I agree with him that this was a superb series - the idea of spoofing a different film genre every week really reinvigorated the Cheeky pages and Frank McDiarmid did some cracking work during this period. Planet of the Japes is one of my favourites.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Cheeky Weekly Star Guests in Whizzer and Chips (part 5)

The ninth week of IPC's 1979 Star Guest promotion saw Cheeky Weekly's resident middle eastern moneybags Mustapha Million embark on a promotional outing into the pages of Whizzer and Chips. This was the first time our prosperous pal had been pressed into Star Guest service (but it wouldn't be the last).

Whizzer and Chips 26 May 1979
Art: Joe McCaffrey

In this story Mustapha meets Richie Moneybags (the scriptwriter would probably have liked to bestow upon the affluent Arab's rival the more alliterative monicker Richie Rich, but there was of course another comic character of that name, to whom Master Moneybags does bear a slight resemblance – well, insofar as his choice of neckwear, anyway). Richie also bears a striking resemblance to Boastful Bertie who Mustapha met in the 24 February 1979 comic.

This Star Guest tale, which was new and never appeared in Cheeky Weekly, doesn't present Mustapha in the best light as his actions leave his competitor in tears. One might argue that the self-satisfied Richie deserved to be taken down a peg or two, but Mustapha himself regularly flaunted his wealth in a similar (although admittedly not as boastful) manner.

The page was drawn by Joe McCaffrey who had taken over as regular artist on the feature in Cheeky Weekly (replacing original artist Reg Parlett) as of February 1979. Mustapha enjoyed double-page adventures in his home comic, but was restricted to a single page in W&C to comply with the Star Guest format.

Unlike certain other of the Cheeky Weekly Star Guests in companion comics, Mustapha did appear in the contemporaneous issue of Cheeky Weekly so Whizz-Kids and Chip-ites who were sufficiently intrigued by his story to return to the newsagents' to pick up a copy of the toothy funster's title were able to enjoy a further two pages of their new chum's adventures that same week, and the loaded lad would be absent from just one issue before Cheeky Weekly came to and end. After the demise of our grinning pal's comic, Mustapha transferred into Whoopee and subsequently into Whizzer and Chips.

Sunday 11 May 2014

A Cheeky Introduction

Peter 'Cheeky' Gray has posted the It's Cheeky strip from the first combined issue of Whoopee! and Cheeky. Mike Lacey did a great job on the strip but it was a shame Frank McDiarmid, who drew all the subsequent Cheeky strips in Whoopee!, wasn't available to introduce the toothy funster and his pals to those readers who weren't familiar with the characters. Maybe Frank was too busy or just wanted a well-deserved break after all his hard work on Cheeky Weekly.

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Cheeky Weekly cover date 26 May 1979

Art: Barrie Appleby
Barrie Appleby gets us off to a rollicking start with his Cheeky's Week...Sunday cover strip in which we witness an injury-free Bump-Bump Bernie, before Cheeky engages in minty mirth with Manhole Man (making his 16th front-page appearance). This is Barrie's second and final front cover Cheeky's Week (although not his last Cheeky Weekly work).
Mr Appleby hands over the Cheeky's Week artwork duties to Jimmy Hansen on page 2, and it appears Jimmy's original final panel on the Monday page has been substituted with two images by Frank McDiarmid culled from the 24 March 1979 issue. Jimmy's final frame may have introduced Calculator Kid, who is absent this week.
Art: Jimmy Hansen
except final panel: Frank McDiarmid
The two images from Cheeky Weekly dated 24 March 1979
used to construct the final panel on the Monday page above
Art: Frank McDiarmid

There's further final-panel adjustment on Tuesday when another Frank McDiarmid image, this time sourced from the 31 March 1979 comic, has been pasted in to introduce the return of erstwhile Skateboard Squad members Skipper, Skatie and Wipe-Out in their new guise of Speed Squad. Maybe when Jimmy drew the page he wasn't aware that the issue in which it was to appear would coincide with the Squad's relaunch strip featuring the intrepid trio travelling by bike and go-cart, and drew an intro frame with the Squad on their skateboards.

Art: Jimmy Hansen
except final panel: Frank McDiarmid & unknown
background artist

The source of the pic of Cheeky in the
final frame of the Tuesday page above -
Cheeky Weekly 31 March 1979
Art: Frank McDiarmid

Cheeky doesn't reveal how he came by this week's issue of the Mystery Comic which, in contrast to last week's smutty issue, is squeaky clean.

Jimmy Hansen again

Disaster Des is absent from this week's Mystery Comic, possibly because the Star Guest strip (Happy Families from Whizzer and Chips) is located within the pages of the perplexing publication.

We return to the Cheeky Weekly section with two rather dull pages from the latest instalment of the Cheeky Spotter Book of Town and Around, after which Cheeky's Week resumes (with Thursday), now drawn by Frank McDiarmid pencils. However, yet again there is evidence of altered artwork in the final frame, which is by Jimmy Hansen. This time the pasted-in panel hasn't come from another issue of Cheeky Weekly – the shape of the frame, resembling as it does the shape of the final panel of Tuesday, suggests to me that it may be the frame which was excised from Jimmy's Tuesday page above.

Art: Frank McDiarmid pencils
except final panel: Jimmy

Maybe Paddywack was originally scheduled to appear on the page following Tuesday (which he did on 37 occasions) but was shunted back in the comic due to the introductory Speed Squad tale covering one and a half pages. Since neither of the pages affected have any day-specific content other than the title panels, surely (if my speculations are correct) it would have been easier to swap the first panels of Tuesday and Thursday around rather than cobbling together new end frames.

After Cheeky and pals have fun in a maze on Saturday, the comic reaches its chortlesome conclusion with a Burpo Special focusing on Cheeky's cover co-star, Manhole Man.

This issue we say goodbye to amusement arcade enthusiast Ding-Dong Debbie.

Four artists (or artist collaboration in the case of Frank McDiarmid pencils) contributed to Cheeky's Week in this edition (see second table below for the breakdown - note I have ignored the cut-and-pastery in evidence this week when compiling the artist figures). The most recent issue to include that number of contributors was the 29 April 1978 comic. There was only one issue featuring a higher number of Cheeky's Week artists, and that was 08 April 1978.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 26-May-1979, Issue 81 of 117
1Cheeky's Week - Art Barrie Appleby (final art on feature)
2Sunday - Art Jimmy Hansen (first art on feature)
36 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
46 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
56 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
6Monday - Art Jimmy Hansen (first art on feature)
7Ad: IPC 'Do you have trouble getting copies of Cheeky Weekly' 2 of 5 Ad: 'Look and Learn' 13 of 16
8Ad: Mr Bellamy's (first appearance)
9Tuesday - Art Jimmy Hansen (first art on feature)
10Speed Squad (first appearance) - Art Jimmy Hansen (first art on feature)
11Speed Squad (first appearance) - Art Jimmy Hansen (first art on feature)\Ad: IPC 'Jackpot' 4 of 7
12Wednesday - Art Jimmy Hansen (first art on feature)
13Tub 'Mystery Comic' 29 of 34 - Art Nigel Edwards
14Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 30 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
15Mustapha Million 'Mystery Comic' 30 of 34 - Art Joe McCaffrey
16Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 29 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
17Elephant On The Run 'Mystery Comic' 29 of 34 - Art Robert Nixon
18Star Guest 'Happy Families' - Art Dick Millington (single art on feature)
19Mystery Boy reprint from Whizzer and Chips 'Mystery Comic' 32 of 37 - Art John Richardson
20Why, Dad, Why? 'Mystery Comic' 24 of 28 - Art John K. Geering
21Cheeky Spotter Book of Town and Around
22Cheeky Spotter Book of Town and Around
23Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
24Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
25Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
26Menace of the Alpha Man reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Eric Bradbury
27Menace of the Alpha Man reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Eric Bradbury
29Joke-Box Jury
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid pencils
32The Burpo Special 'Manhole Man' - Art Frank McDiarmid

Cheeky's Week Artists Cover Date 26-May-1979
Artist Elements
Jimmy Hansen4
Frank McDiarmid pencils4
Barrie Appleby1
Frank McDiarmid1